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How to start your boat.

June 22, 2011

A step by step instruction from North Lake Storage to get you moving on the water.

  1. Check the cooler for the proper number of drinks and snacks – alcoholic, non-alcoholic, salty, or sweet.  It doesn’t matter.  Being stranded in the middle of the lake is no fun.  And your ‘heroes’ will expect a drink while towing you to your dock or local marina.
  2. Check the cooler for the proper amount of ice.  Again, your heroes will expect something cold, not warm.
  3. Check the gas tank to ensure you have enough to get you and your party to your destination and back.  Key words are “and back”.
  4. Prime the motor by pumping the primer bulb on the fuel line until resistance is felt.  That’s that little ball in the middle of the hose that is attaches the gas tank to your engine.  If you have an inboard tank with no primer bulb, a couple pumps forward and back on the shift lever will do.
  5. Check the kill switch, if you have one.  If it is in the ‘off’ position, your boat will not start no matter what you do.
  6. Make sure that your boat is in neutral.  Generally, this will be with the shift lever in the up position, or the middle position between reverse and forward.
  7. Turn the key to on position and wait 15 seconds.  Take a sip.  Get comfortable.  Think positive.  Let the engine power up and prime itself.
  8. Now turn the key to start the engine.
    If it is cold out, 50° or less, bundle up and ask yourself “why am I out here?”  And, use a lot of choke**.  Your engine will definitely need it.** The choke can be applied using the following (based on your engine year and type):

    • Pushing the key into ignition switch
    • Pulling out a little knob located on the front of the engine, referred to as a manual choke
  9. If it is between 50° and 80°, a little choke will not hurt.  Apply a little more if the temperature is closer to 50°, a little less if it is closer to 80° (see step #7 above for applying the choke).
  10. If it is hot out, 80° or more, grab a drink from step #1 and lay off of the choke.  Your engine will not need it.
  11. Do step #7, 8 or 9 and turn the key.  With a little luck, your boat will start and you can begin your leisurely ride on the water.  If the magic did not happen, don’t panic.  There are a few things we can try before we abandon all hope and put the engine out of its misery.
  12. Apply a little gas (throttle) without moving your boat.  On the shift lever is a button located at the bottom.  Push the button and either push the shift lever forward or up, about half way, as if you were trying to make the boat go forward.  If your shift lever does not have a button, then, more than likely, your shift lever can be pulled out away from the counsel.  Then you can either push the shift lever forward or up, about half way.  By pushing the button or pulling out the shift lever, it will keep your boat in neutral but also allow you to give your engine a little gas.
  13. Turn the key.  Did that work?  Yes, have fun.  If not, go to step #13.
  14. Try pumping the gas.  Do step #11 again, but this time while turning the key, push the shift lever forward and back a couple of times.  Did that work?  Yes, again have fun.  No, proceed to step #14 (before you do you may want to take a little breather – your looking a little hot.)
  15. If you are using the choke, now try step #13 without the choke.   Or, if you were not using the choke, try step #13 with the choke.  Are you good?  Yes, happy boating.  If not, continue to step #15.
  16. OK, by now there is a good chance that you have probably flooded it.  Don’t worry, there are two ways to fix this:
    • Wait – grab another cool one from step #1, (See how fast your beverages go on a boat ride) sit in your favorite seat and enjoy being outside and on the water, albeit still at the dock.  Wait about an hour or two and then try the whole process again.  Or,
    • Do step #11, but this time push the shift lever all the way forward or up to give it full throttle and do NOT apply any choke.
  17. Turn the key.  How are we doing?  Are you off and running or still stuck at the dock?
  18. Okay, if everything has failed to this point and your engine still will not start, ask your friends to get out and try to push start it.  It is up to you as to how long you make your friends push your boat.  It is a very peaceful way to travel if you have a relatively shallow lake.
  19. Still not working, at this point please do not hesitate to contact North Lake Storage and Service.  We know your boat!  Perhaps we can talk you through it, perform a service call or provide you some alternatives to get you running again.

You can contact us a number of ways:

North Lake Storage and Service

  • Tel 734.498.3804
  • Cell 734.904.6011 (Shirley)
  • Cell 734.904.4542 (Darren)
  • Cell 734.904.3960 (Garth)
  • Email northlakestorage.service@gmail.com

Happy boating!  And hopefully you will avoid step #18 and #19.

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